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Up-Yelling

, , , , , | Right | August 9, 2021

The sandwich shop is running a special on specific sandwiches sold at $4 for footlongs and $2 for six-inches. My coworker is on break when I get this call from a customer.

Me: “Thank you for calling. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, you have a special right now, correct?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, six-inch for $2 and footlong for $4 on cold cut and meatball.”

Customer: “All right, well, during lunch, my coworker was there and he ordered a cold cut for me and I only got the six-inch. Why wasn’t I given the footlong if it was on special?”

I think we made a mistake and her coworker was given the wrong order.

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am. Lunchtime is busy so it’s possible there was a mixup. Were you charged for the footlong?”

Customer: “No, just for the six-inch. But if there’s a special, you should have pushed the footlong.”

Now, I’m confused.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, just to clarify, did you want the footlong or the six-inch?”

Customer: *With attitude* “I ordered the six-inch, but you should have pushed the footlong. Why didn’t you sell him the footlong?”

Me: “Seeing as he only ordered the footlong because that’s what you ordered, I don’t know.”

Customer: “Well, that’s terrible salesmanship. I work in retail, and you always upsell, upsell, upsell. So, what are you going to do for me?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Can I come in and get the other half of my sandwich?”

Me: “Ma’am, you only ordered the six-inch, so I’m sorry, but there is no other half.”

Customer: “But the footlong is only four dollars! You should have made him take the footlong! Did you tell him about the sale? Why didn’t you make a footlong?!”

I am over it at this point and another customer has just walked in. I motion that I will be right there, and they smile and look up at the menu. I address the customer on the phone who is making no sense and just ranting about upselling and poor customer service.

Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but I’m not sure what you’d like me to do. You ordered a six-inch and that’s what was given to you. If we had given you the wrong sandwich or messed up in any way, we’d be more than happy to correct it. But as it stands, there’s nothing else I can offer you.”

The customer is quiet for a moment before saying, in a snooty tone:

Customer: “Can I speak to someone else? Maybe they will know what to do?”

In the end, I passed the phone to my coworker and took care of the waiting customer who was very nice and understanding after I apologized for the wait.

My coworker later told me she’d repeated the exact same thing to the woman on the phone who got even more upset because we weren’t more aggressive with our upselling. Basically, she wanted us to force her coworker to buy something and she demanded the corporate number. I never heard anything else about it.

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Throw The Jerks Out With The Mop Bucket Water

, , , | Right | CREDIT: TeeNick | July 10, 2021

I work at a fast food chain based around sandwiches, with food that is rather on the expensive side; a medium sandwich is about seven or eight dollars, and that’s without drinks and chips. About fifteen minutes before closing, a woman and her children walk in and rush to the counter. I am sweeping and have a few separate piles of dirt and old lettuce on the ground, because the church crowds are no joke. I walk up to the counter and begin to ring up the woman’s meal. She orders three sandwiches and three combos for a total of $35.07. I ask for her name.

Woman: *Sarcastically* “Aren’t you a little salesman?”

Me: *Politely* “Excuse me?”

Woman: “The chili is more expensive with the combo compared to regular. I think that you should change that, so people don’t get confused. I would like to see my receipt, please.”

I know this is going to be trouble, so I print the receipt and she snatches it out of my hand and throws on her glasses.

Woman: “Yes, you charged me too much for this chili combo, young man. Do you know how frustrating this is to the public?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I don’t make the prices, you know? I just work the cash register.”

Woman: “Well, I want you to refund my purchase. I believe I’m entitled to this food now.”

When she says, “entitled,” I just kind of look at her in shock. It is not my fault I sold you something that costs more to make due to labor and ingredient costs. Regardless, I go to administer a refund, but she stops me.

Woman: “Know what? No. I’ll keep the chili. It’s fine. You’ve already rung me up for it, so it doesn’t matter.”

Me: “Of course, ma’am. I’m sorry.”

I stepped away from the counter to finish sweeping, and then I heard a thud from the far side of the restaurant. When I wasn’t looking, the woman took my mop bucket and “accidentally” tipped it over onto one of my larger piles of dirt.

By this point, my manager had had enough and decided to kick her out of the store after she cleaned up her mess, and he demanded that she issue an apology to me. She screamed at him and tried to leave, but the manager is a muscular man, so he stopped her with ease and called the police.

The police showed up a few minutes later and escorted her out of the store. I don’t know what happened after she got kicked out; all I know is that I had lots of mopping to do.

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There Are Many Ways To Reach Your Students

, , , , , | Friendly | June 30, 2021

Over a decade ago, when I was nineteen, I attended a college in which the various buildings were quite spaced out through the downtown area; there was no real central campus. This meant that, one summer day, as I stopped to get lunch while walking to my next class, I passed a city bus stop just outside the sandwich shop I was heading for. A man at the bus stop saw me approach, smiled in a casual, friendly way, said something like, “Hey, looking good!” and held up one hand for a high-five.

Call me clueless, but without thinking, I high-fived him back. Maybe it just seemed the path of least resistance, or maybe as a girl who had literally never been hit on once in her life, it was a bit flattering. Either way, it was over in a moment, and I was off into the sandwich shop for my lunch.

Then, halfway through the “What else would you like on that?” process, the employee making my sandwich paused, his face suddenly serious, as he looked past me out the restaurant window.

Employee: “Hey, uh, don’t look now, but there’s a guy outside who’s, like, really staring at you.”

Without turning to fully look, I worked out that the guy I’d high-fived was indeed staring nonstop at me through the window behind me, and I informed the employee that, no, I did not know him, and we both proceeded to act as though we hadn’t noticed him. Internally, I was now extremely nervous, of course. What the heck had I just set off? What was I going to do now? There was only one door to the place, so I would have to pass this guy if I left. As the minutes passed and I paid for my sandwich, the guy apparently did not intend to enter the restaurant, content to just watch me through the glass, probably waiting for me to leave.

Panicking a bit, and having no prior experience with directly creepy men, I chose to sit inside the mostly empty restaurant and eat, facing away from the guy and pretending I didn’t see him. The whole time, he never came inside. I believe the employee kept an eye out for me, too, but there were no further actions taken. After finishing my food, I stayed put and looked at my phone, still steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the guy’s presence, but with that deep sick feeling of panic in the pit of my stomach.

Then, I got a text from a classmate. I’d spent so much time in the sandwich shop that class had started, and my professor was wondering where I was. They were small classes, my professor was a sweetheart, and it was not like me to be late or miss class. I filled them in on the situation, told them I was too nervous to leave the shop, and was immediately told:

Classmate: “Hang on for just another minute! [Professor] is coming to get you!”

And now I must explain a few things about this professor. He is probably the kindest, gentlest soul I have ever known. He once described himself as “Bobby Hill” — from the show “King of the Hill” — a sweet, sensitive, non-athletic, creative child from a family of incurious rednecks. He was fairly short and somewhat overweight, and he kept his hair quite long. He was beloved in his department for encouraging his students and nurturing their creativity and growth, and he was also well known for being a huge fan of a certain very cutesy cartoon character mostly aimed at young girls. He would even dress as this character every Halloween.

So, this is the man who did not hesitate to hop in his car and drive the four or five blocks to my location and charge into the sandwich shop. His timing could not have been better. Since I was watching out for him, I gathered my stuff as I saw him coming, and as soon as he entered, I stood to leave. Together, we started walking right back out the door, just as the guy from outside decided to finally come in. We passed him on the way out and booked it down the sidewalk.

The guy actually followed us, staying a few feet behind, through crosswalks and down the block. After less than a minute of this, my professor turned on a dime, got up in this dude’s face — which was about a foot higher than my professor’s — and spat out, “Can I help you?”

The guy mumbled something and FINALLY backed off. My professor later said the guy had reeked of booze, something I’d never picked up on. We made it safely back to my professor’s adorable little Prius, where I got to deep-breathe through the remains of my scare while enjoying [Character] seat covers and floor mats on the way back to class, and I was about the most grateful to someone I’ve ever been.

I always feel like such an idiot looking back on that incident, and I’m fully aware it could have been much worse! That professor will always be my hero!


This story is part of our Best Of June 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of June 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of June 2021 roundup!

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Someone’s Feeling Octopushy

, , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I am a university freshman and I’ve just moved out of my home to study in a prestigious university. I get most of my after-lesson meals at a small Apulian sandwich shop. I usually order either a calzone and a beer or a sandwich with bologna, chard, and chickpea mousse, plus some tonic water if I felt in a healthier mood. One day, after several months, I notice that they also have an octopus, dried tomato, and olive puree sandwich. Curious, I set out to order it.

Me: “Hello. I would like a Monopoli-style sandwich and a tonic water.” 

Cashier: *Snapping around to face me* “No, we don’t have that. We haven’t had any octopus for months. Do [University] students talk to each other, or is being annoying know-it-alls toward us common mortals all they do?”

I’m taken aback and, obviously, offended. After some confused sputtering, I collect myself enough to speak up again.

Me: “Get me your manager, please.”

The cashier turns around and claps a couple of times, and the manager, a woman looking very much like the cashier, arrives.

Manager: *Blithely* “Yo, what’s going on?”

Cashier: “This guy over here wants to talk to you.”

Me: *Annoyed* “Yeah, I’d like to complain about your cashier; she’s being rude to me over a question.”

Cashier: “He asked me if we had anything with octopus! Again! It’s not my fault students from [University] keep thinking it’s like back at Daddy’s home and want everything right now.”

Me: *Bellowing somewhat* “I just asked for a sandwich, politely at that, and you blew to me—”

Manager: “Yeah, yeah. What counts as polite in your mansion isn’t polite in the real world. Now get out.”

Me: “Gladly.”

I stormed out and went out to try out the university canteen, which did prove to be pretty decent, actually. As it turned out, the university I went to had a reputation as a “gentrification machine” of unheard-before proportions, and the owners of the shop were two activist sisters doing activism against it, but, even so, was it really necessary to insult somebody for a simple question?

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And Just Like That He Was Sai-Gone

, , , | Right | June 3, 2021

I’m working in a cute little Vietnamese sandwich place and, like all cultural food places, it does have food and ingredients that are traditionally known in other Asian cultures. A white man walks in wearing a business suit, his head held high, and there’s this haughtiness about him that I notice as soon as he walks up to my register. He takes a long look at the menu and then makes a show of observing all of our extra snacks and drinks.

Customer: “So… this is Vietnamese food.”

Me: “Yes, it is!”

Customer: “But your sandwich up there has Kimchi.”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “That’s Korean, you know.”

Me: “Yes, I know.”

Customer: “And your snacks here are all Japanese.”

Me: “I suppose. Cultures tend to mix, you know. Our main focus is the menu.”

He stares at me suspiciously.

Customer: “You’re not Vietnamese, are you?”

Me: “No, actually, I’m half-Samoan.”

He nods, although I’m not sure if my answer is satisfactory for him. 

Customer: “Cool, cool. I didn’t think you were. I know all of this stuff because I spent a couple of years in Vietnam on business trips.”

I just nod and smile. He picks up a small plastic case with a brownie.

Customer: “Wow, you sell brownies, too! I didn’t know brownies could be Vietnamese.”

Me: *Slightly irked* “Well, a Vietnamese lady made them, so I suppose that’s what makes them Vietnamese.”

Customer: “Hmm.” *Put the brownie down* “I suppose you have a point.”

I tried to break the awkwardness by suggesting some of our popular items off our menu, and I recommended the Pho since that was basically our star item for anybody who is familiar with Vietnamese culture and food, all of which were ignored. After another minute of him just staring at the menu above me, he turned and left without buying anything.

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